Abductive Columns

Monday, August 21, 2006


After 54 years of teaching in the First Baptist Church in Watertown, New York fundie pastor Timothy LaBouf decided it was high-time to change the church's understanding of 1 Timothy 2:8-12 and then dismiss the church's Sunday school patriarch, Mary Lambert. Pastor LaBouf said the church had adopted a position that prohibits women from teaching men.

I find it no less than amazing that this faith community allowed Mary Lambert to teach mixed classes for five decades and now with a new revelation on 1 Timothy 2:12 she is dismissed. Ten to one this new interpretation (at least new to Watertown, New York First Baptist Church) came with the hiring of LaBouf as the new pastor.

I’ve come to a different conclusion than LaBouf and here’s why:

  • In my humble opinion 1Timothy 2:8-12 does not enjoin a tight-lipped ban against woman speaking in church assemblies. The word translated “quietness” (v.11) or “silent” is from a Greek word referring less to a woman’s speech than her spirit of inner peace and her ability to live in peace and harmony with others. The same Greek word is used in 1Timothy 2:2 of the “peaceful and quiet lives.”

  • This text is apparently the general rule for male and female relationships in Christ and a broad outline of how the two sexes relate to each other in the ekklesia. There is no contextual indication that it applies only with some degree of qualification or to assemblies of a unique type.


At 11:13 PM, Blogger Dave said...

Have you checked out the church's website?


I think there is a lot more to this story than the media is reporting. To me, it looks like the pastor is somewhat hiding behind the I Timothy verse in order to avoid going more public with other problems that the church has had with Mary Lambert.

The sad/wierd thing is that La Bouf's fundie approach may have actually been a key part to the church's recent growth, as well as the friction between him and some of the disgruntled "old guard" who've been with the church for decades but didn't care for La Bouf or the new core audience he was attracting.

But that's all reading between the lines... and over the internet to boot!


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